Home (re)Design Ideas

29 December 2014

{Photo via DIY at Casa de Lewis}

Dining Built In - My FIL has a sunroom where the family eats and they have a built in bench nestled in the corner under the windows. I fell in love with this piece when I met my in-laws and now that Noah and I own our home we can change whatever we want. Consequently, I have a big "honeydo" list... but lets be honest, it's mostly for me. While the built in will surely have to wait for summer, it's definitely something I want to accomplish in 2015. Casa de Lewis blog did the above built in and I am following their lead for my summer project. 

Painting. Just this morning I picked up color swatches and paint samples and I'm pleasantly surprised by how happy this makes me. Everyone who walks in to our house says the paint is fine but it drives me CRAZY. My pet peeve is that the previous tenants (or maybe a prior owner?) painted the whole house this one color throughout... Let me find it for you. Oh, here it is. To top it off, they chose glossy. GLOSSY. I mean, I thought people used that for cabinets? The other bad thing about the color is that it's just too dark for our space. As a townhouse, we only get windows in the front and back of the house and we desperately need to maximize that light and this beige is far too dark. So, while no one else really notices it, painting is the number one priority on my list. Noah thinks I'm a nut job but I can't stand seeing my own reflection in the paint. I'm going for an eggshell yellow, green, and one pink tangerine accent wall.

Cabinets. This is significantly further down my list but I'd still love to do it. Yet again, it's a project that Noah feels may not be worth our time (since our future is up in the air depending on residencies and my future career), but we will be here for at least three and a half more years and if these rooms can improve the way our bedroom has then I think it's well worth it. I'd love to lighten up the kitchen and bathrooms with white cabinets; our lack of windows means the rooms in our house are just too dark for my liking.

Inspiration Posts:
This kitchen is adorable (love the modern farm feel with decorations around the sink).
A simple decoration trick - how to turn plastic plates into kitchen decor.

Christmas Happenings

27 December 2014

Like everyone else in blogland it's been so busy that it's hard to keep up with posting. In fact, since I can't possibly summarize it all in enough detail I'll go through a succinct list and if there's time over the next few days I'll go back and elaborate on the happenings around these parts.

Our holiday happenings:
  1. Monday - Margaritas with our family and friends
  2. Tuesday - Party at the Whitacres (in love with them and their farm home)
  3. Wednesday - Christmas Eve at my grandpa's house, midnight service
  4. Thursday - Bouncing from our house, to Bob's, to Nanan's.
  5. Friday - Mitsi for dinner, Nic and Zac to play games, The Interview (on youtube)
  6. Saturday - Returns, phone, lake house
  7. Sunday - Church, Annapolis, cousins
This is a really brief and quick summary and I hope to update with more soon. It has been SO BUSY here and I'm aching to get some things accomplished around the house. I'll try to do some inspiration posts soon too. Merry Christmas! 

Bon Bon Balls

20 December 2014

This season I made my own batch of bon bon balls (also popularly known as buckeye balls). Noah's mom has made these every Christmas for the family and since this is her first year away in Iowa I decided to try my hand at them for Noah. They came out delicious! Here's the recipe if you're looking for a delicious treat.

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp crisco shortening


  1. 1
    COMBINE peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on LOW until blended. Add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until blended. Beat in additional powdered sugar until mixture, when shaped into a ball, will stay on a toothpick. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate.
  2. 2
    PLACE chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Reheat as needed while coating peanut butter balls.
  3. 3
    INSERT toothpick in peanut butter ball. Dip 3/4 of ball into chocolate, leaving top uncovered to resemble a buckeye. Remove excess. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Remove toothpick. Smooth over holes. Refrigerate until firm.

Well Groomed

18 December 2014

Talk about a great day so far. Everyone is finally over that sickness completely and Odin and I went to get ourselves taken care of and pampered this morning. We both had some grooming appointments today (he is adorable) and I got a blueberry muffin for breakfast. There is nothing on my agenda for the rest of the day, which means I can take care of some chores around the house. Then this weekend we're going to see the Hobbit and get ready for some festive fun with family and friends ALL next week. Like, this can't be my life right now; I'm really feeling it. The only thing that would make it better is if I had a candy cane or two... but I suppose that can be easily remedied! 


17 December 2014

{Photo via Liz Marie Blog}

Thank goodness my bedroom is my favorite room of the house because I spent the last three days pretty much cooped up in there. As much as I love it though, Liz Marie just posted her redone bedroom and I'm in love with the room as much as it's possible to be in love with a physical (indoor) space. When you need a reprieve from the world and a place to recuperate from an illness, your bedroom can be that perfect place. 

It's been a terrible few days around here with sickness, dehydration, and even fainting and I am more than ready to feel healthy again. Things are starting to look up, but sometimes you just end up a little impatient waiting for health to come back. Cross your fingers for me that everything comes back pretty quickly. 

Phone Dump

15 December 2014

Noah's band concert for the winter season.

P1 class officers making candy canes for students and faculty.

New training. Odin's learning to "stay" with his head still and balance a treat. So much discipline involved!

Made gingerbread cookies to avoid studying one night.

What? I guess no one else like to study at 7:30am.

Had a drizzle and a tiny ice storm one morning of finals week too.

My animals say they missed quality time with me due to all the studying.

Turned in my application at the SPCA to volunteer. I'm really hoping to do some humane education at schools and other venues.

First day of break I'm watching puppies get adopted on a super old tv show and Odin doesn't know what to make of it! 

The only thing that is not represented here is how truly STRESSFUL and OVERWHELMING last week was. I mean, I made it through and with good grades, just... wow. I'd say it was definitely my hardest finals week yet (and I've had my fair share of finals). There's no reason to dwell on it because everything went well, but boy am I glad it's over. 

O Christmas Tree

What is free time?

13 December 2014

I'm not even sure what to do with myself today! It hasn't quite sunk in that it's break. What do people do with free time? 

Today I'm hoping to go on a carriage ride, pick a tree, and hit up the dog park with my best bud. Speaking of animal friends, I'm watching a tv series on Netflix (TV still exists I found out) and it's about the North Shore Animal Rescue in NY. The series documents some special dog cases that come into the shelter and the daily proceedings of the program (vets, grooming the dogs, behavior testing). So much fun and it's so emotional. 

I'm hoping to set up a grooming appointment for Odin this week before heading off to the Equine Hospital. We're going to hit the dog park and maybe even get a hike in. He's had to be so patient while I've been sitting indoors studying for the past two weeks.

I guess that answers my question. What do I do with free time? Try to catch up on training!


12 December 2014

This week has been such an emotional and stressful roller coaster. My dreams have even been weird. I've noticed that as time goes on, and I get older, I remember my dreams less and less. Yet, this week I've had dreams almost every night. And what's crazy is my notes have been in my dreams. 

Honestly, who wants to dream about parathyroidism? Really? Come on brain, get with it! All week it's been actual images of my notes in my head and words like "gland" and "case-based" were just floating around in there.

Last night though, I had a dream that I had pigs. Like, I lived on a farm and came home from work and went out to feed the pigs and give them new hay for bedding. I was quite disappointed when I woke up. Maybe one day I'll have a farm and I'll be able to ride a horse and feed the chickens. 

I like that idea. After all, my happiest childhood memories are of the farm my grandparents had in Illinois. I'll have to go ask my dad for pictures from our annual trips out west. They were wonderful days. It'd be good to go over those trips again. 

Well, perhaps the best part of dreaming about pigs is that I am no longer dreaming about class. And that is something to celebrate.

Release & Updates

11 December 2014

{Doesn't he look proud?}

I can hardly believe it. I only have one final to go before winter break. Less than a week ago I was unsure of whether I would even make it to this point. Yet, here I am. And there are so many big things on the horizon! 

This may not have been revealed before on the blog, but I found an end goal to focus on. At the end of pharmacy school, there are a few options. A student can go directly into retail, they can pursue a fellowship (mostly for research), or they can pursue a residency (hospitals and the like). While I recognize that my mind my change after more exposure... I know what I want to do.

I want to be a veterinary pharmacist. 

There are only three schools in the United States that offer this residency program and between them there are five spots. This means it is quite competitive. Part of me doesn't want to share this goal with others, because I'm afraid I won't get a spot in a residency program. It's intimidating. Scary. A Challenge. But it's a challenge I'd regret not putting myself through. 

Next week I start volunteering with an Equine Hospital and I also have an appointment with a veterinarian to talk about volunteering opportunities with them. Beyond that I have an application in at the SPCA and am waiting to hear back about my training session there. It all feels just a tad overwhelming but also incredibly exciting and motivating. To top it off I heard back from my role model today and she gave some words of encouragement and advice; she said it's great to know this in my P1 year because it means I can set myself up for success. 

So, it's out there. I'm trying. If you hadn't noticed, animals are a passion of mine and it pumps me up to think that I could combine my love of science with animals. So, here's to a solid three years and lots of time with the animals I love.


07 December 2014

There is one week left to go with classes for my first semester P1 year of pharmacy school. I can't begin to tell you how nervous/stressed this makes me. Honestly, I'd almost say there are only two days left even though I have finals that go through Friday. There are only two exams that make me nervous and they're on Monday and Tuesday. So, if you pray, send one up for me. If you believe in karma send good thoughts my way. In two days this will all be over and I'm excited and terrified of that.

The good news, or reason to smile if you will? I'm about to have a break. As in a long, no strings attached break. We have a few weeks off in December from school and it's like my mind can't even fathom that right now. I'm looking forward to walking Odin, watching TV, reading a book (for pleasure!), and just. not. thinking.

I can do this. 

Motivational Posters

02 December 2014

These motivational posters of quotes from Louis made me laugh out loud today. The show can be kind of a downer sometimes but he certainly has an insightful nature.

Thanksgiving I

01 December 2014


Well, for the first part of Thanksgiving review, I loved having a real break. I realized that even though I still had work to do over break, this was the biggest break I've had since one week off in the summer. Before that I'm really not sure of the last time I didn't have work. Maybe a month after I stopped teaching? It's been constant class, then work, then more work, then school throughout the entire year (and summer). Finally, two weeks away I see a REAL break. Winter break. It is so exciting.

That does mean that I need to really buckle down right now. I've only got two weeks left to turn those two Bs into As. I can do this.

Over this little Thanksgiving break we had a few inches of snowfall which made the whole holiday feel a good deal more like Christmas than Thanksgiving. Noah and I hosted my family on Wednesday and spent time with his family on Thursday and Friday. We took one day for ourselves then yesterday hopped back on the work train.

Here are some highlights before I share a few more pictures this week.

  • I started knitting again since I had actual time to watch tv. I'm amazed at how quickly it came back to me. I watched one three minute video of how to cast on then could knit all the stitches. Feeling pretty good about that.
  • For the first time in a while I tried my hand at bass guitar... and it went shockingly well. Of course, I think bass may be the easiest instrument in the history of music to learn, but it still feels good to get back to some of my music roots. Especially in the spirit of learning something new. Relative to pharmacy it almost feels too easy.
  • Got to see family. Lots of family. Is it possible to get overwhelmed by how much family we meet over holidays? I think it's possible. 
  • The snow piled up to about three inches near the end. I don't like winter. I mean, I love Christmas (who doesn't?) but I already am tired of the cold. I want to walk my dog and see the sunshine. The snow meant that I couldn't do my Black Friday hike on Skyline Drive because it was shut down for the weather conditions. Not cool, go away snow!
  • Got to eat lunch out with the Edwards and Vances yesterday. Had a good Sunday School as is pretty typical when we're watching Rob Bell videos.
  • We put up two Christmas trees and are going to buy a third. Noah's pretty pumped because it will be our first live tree ever as a couple. I'm just ready to put up all the lights. There's something magical about the twinkling of Christmas lights and I'm aiming to have that feel in every room of the house this year. Holidays aren't far away!


27 November 2014

I loved looking at all the reasons bloggers are posting that they're thankful. I'm going with health, family, ODIN, and pursuing my goals for my career. Happy Thanksgiving!


November Goals

13 November 2014

November Goals

Finish moving all our furniture

Give our living room a purpose

Create a pinboard of my ideal living room

Celebrate Thanksgiving with both families

Decorate for Christmas

Make contact with a shelter about volunteering

Life Goal: Oh, and that photo above is of the Grand Tetons. About ten years ago I was lucky enough to see these beauties for myself and now I'm aching to go back. Sometimes the travel bug bites and it just leaves an itch. Of course, I'd love to see something new too such as Half Dome or the Redwoods. It's not (responsibly) possible now, but maybe one day...

Settling In

11 November 2014

{via weheartit}

Noah's off today for Veteran's Day and we've spent the morning moving furniture up and down two flights of stairs. Noah loves the verticality of the townhouse but for me it can become a headache after growing up in a ranch-style home. Now we have an office upstairs, a guest bedroom downstairs, and a living area in the basement. It's exciting to get the house settled into areas that have a purpose. Now I'm mostly excited to add some new furniture pieces around our home and PAINT. It seems like such a huge job... and it will take a long time to finish, but hopefully over some holiday breaks we can make headway. Here's to a new beginning!

Time of Thanks

10 November 2014

What I'm thankful for:
  • Owning a house
  • Living on our own
  • Delicious dinners (homemade pizzas, broccoli quiche, pot pies)
  • No big tests this week
  • The smell of wood-burning fires
  • Gaining 800 sq ft of house
  • I'll see my sister in a few weeks
  • New hardware in the bathroom


08 November 2014

I had a really good Friday! Sometimes you just need to find a way to relax after times of stress. Sometimes it takes a bagel and a mocha. Now for the weekend, which is looking pretty busy... Nic is moving out, the church bazaar is this morning, and I'm going bowling with the P1s tonight. It'll be a busy day but that won't stop me from getting the appropriate studying done (hello pharmacy calc). 

Here's to a good weekend!

Bathroom Before

06 November 2014

Okay, so big news for us around here is - Noah and I bought a house. To be exact, we bought this house, the townhouse we've been living in for the past year. The total rent is dropping each month when our mortgage starts and we want to put a bit of work in to fix it up. By no means is this house a "fixer upper" but it's not new construction either. My favorite thing about it is the space. My least favorite thing is the lack of windows. 

The only room in the house that I love in almost every way is our bedroom, which started off with some wild colors when we moved in. They were so horrendous that I got permission to paint the room (and money was even taken off the rent in reimbursement because it was so bad). It turned out much better after

That really is the only room we have worked on at all because we didn't know if we'd be moving again in a few months or not. We'd been talking about buying the townhome for a while now and we finally took the plunge. Now there's talks of home reno projects all the time. We decided to start with the bathroom for a few reasons: 1) It's a relatively small space and shouldn't be too hard to tackle 2) New hardware solves a lot of the problems with the dated look 3) We don't have to take up extra space downstairs working on this room while Nic is packing stuff up to move out. 

Oh, did I mention? Our last roommate is moving out this weekend and I might be more excited about that than just owning the house. Lame? Maybe. But I'm just ready to tackle this space and make it feel like my home in a way that no place has felt since Harrisonburg. 

A Hard Few Days

02 November 2014

It's been difficult around here lately. It seems like my life is a big ball of stress and work sometimes. The only thing that makes me uncontrollably happy is Odin because he's the only positive thing I get in abundance any more. 

I don't mean this to sound depressed... though sometimes I wonder about it still, but rather that life just gets difficult and messy sometimes. With school, lack of friends in the area, and a lack of time with my husband it feels like I'm constantly trying to work through some project or other to get to free time, yet I never quite make it. Or I choose to add stressors to my life. I have a hard time saying no. Rather, perhaps I have a bad habit of initiating then realizing I've taken on too much but feel to ashamed to say anything about it. 

Right now it feels like I've had so much emotion built up in me over the past few months (years?) that I've almost reached a wall where it suddenly has all fallen off and instead of being sad or angry I am almost just void. Like, I'm going through the motions because that's what my script says to do. Only when I get to run with Odin do I feel free so I'm trying to spend a lot of time at the lake. Thank goodness for (wo)man's best friend.

The Perfect End Table

24 October 2014

This morning I'm setting out the schedule for the weekend since Noah and I are heading to Charlottesville to see my sister and her boyfriend. Beside me I've got one ham of a pup who loves attention and on the other side I have the absolutely perfect end table. Yesterday Noah brought flowers (lillies!) home for me and they're sitting there along with a photo from last weekend. A speckled green coffee mug is resting easy after heavy use this morning and beside it a wine glass with a little moscato from last night residing at the bottom of the glass. Lastly, mixing in with the smell of lillies, there's a little fall harvest candle lit beside me that just completes the scene. 

I'm happy to see my family this weekend and I'm loving the time just basking in a morning that feels right
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